Jul 1, 2020 in Research

Сommunication is a very important aspect in human relationships ranging from public address, oratory and interpersonal communication. For any relationship to be successful, there has to be proper communication to allow for the sharing of interest and concerns as well as in making decisions. Effective communication is based on how individuals listen, talk and respond to body language. A lot of research has been done on the communication field especially the relating to interpersonal communication. There have been several theoretical concepts and models which have proposed including symbolic interactionism, social exchange theory and relational pragmatics. Traditionally, interpersonal communication was more focused on physical interaction but the growth of technology and networking has led to computer-mediated communication. This paper does an analysis of the theoretical concepts of interpersonal communication and how they are applied in real life and how it relates to the award winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

Considered as one of the greatest Bollywood films of all time, Slumdog millionaire is a story detailing a rag to riches tale of a poor orphan who hails from a slum and wins a jackpot prize in an Indian game of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. In the film Jamal has successfully answered the first eight questions of a popular TV show and is only a question to winning the grand prize of the show. 

 
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The film based on a Q & A novel is set and filmed in India. The main character, Jamal Malik, is a former street child who lived most of his childhood in Juhu slums in Mumbai. As he participates in the game no one expects that he would win and he exceeds the expectations of everyone considering that he was poor and uneducated. Everyone begins to think that Jamal is not honest in the game and the police start questioning him. He is detained and interrogated before the final question that would later win him the grand prize. 

Jamal applies his childhood experiences and recounts in flashback of how he managed to get the answers correct for the questions. The questions asked in the show has answers which links to the key events in his life. The flashbacks in the movie tells the story of Jamal and his brother, Salim and his friend Latika. 

In the flashbacks, Jamal is able to recall a hint that would lead to the right answer in the questions. The hint was either in the form of a person, song or an event. The questions does not come in a chronological order in relation to the life of Jamal and therefore the story shifts between different periods in his life. The flashbacks gives an insight into the life in India including events such as the Bombay Riots, meeting a Bollywood star as well as going to the Taj Mahal. 

The Johari Window is a concept that Floyd largely borrows this concept from Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. This theory is very important in helping in personal development while improving communications and self-awareness. The theory emphasizes on the soft skills such as behavior, cooperation and intergroup and interpersonal development. This model is applicable in variety of situations and in real life environments. 

The Johari window is applicable in real life and involves building trust with other individuals by disclosing information about oneself. With the help of the feedback from other people one is able to learn about themselves and be able to relate to their personal issues. By applying the Johari window an individual is able to help the team members or partners the value of self-disclosure making them able to give and accept constructive feedback. If applied sensitively, the Johari window can help in building better and trustworthy relationships between individuals and therefore working effectively as a team or in a partnership. 

In Slumdog millionaire, Jamal is able to relate his life with his relationships with other characters and this was critical in making him aware of himself as an individual. The film in a way depicts the open area portion of Jamal’s quadrant which are things that he knew about himself and the things that other knew about him. Jamal uses his experiences, knowledge and skills to answer the questions in the show which makes him to win the grand prize. The other characters in the film also uses the Johari window especially Salim who uses his skills and knowledge to help his brother find Latika. 

In the film, Jamal has to answer several questions and he associates his experiences to the questions which helps him to correctly answer the questions. His associations lead him to an airport that was close to their home where the boys had an open field to play. As his brother waits outside and Jamal sitting in an outhouse, a man tries to get offers for Salim’s money and later a noise from a helicopter carrying movie star Amitabh Bachchan. This helps Jamal to correctly answer the question as he remembers the incident. The Johari window is very instrumental in helping Jamal to answer the questions.

The Johari window is a valuable and elegant model as it can be applied to help people understand themselves and optimize their value. When individuals are able to understand themselves, they become empowered to apply the same line of thinking while incorporating the underlying principles into their own thinking and behavior. 

The collectivistic culture concept is also important in communication as it promotes the well-being of people within a specific community. This concept as proposed by Floyd refers to the culture in which people believe that the primary responsibility in life is their families or people who within their proximity. It is a sharp contrast of the individualistic culture concept which is only concerned with individual responsibilities. 

The collectivistic culture in the society is being eroded by institutions of power such as governments. The abnormal social order in an individual lies much deeper than any manifestations or symptoms and the diagnosis has to penetrate the hidden forces of life. This is much applicable in Slumdog millionaire as Jamal and his brother are depicted as suffering from various social disorders including the lack of a paternal figure in their lives and the having to go through extreme conditions of life. It can be hypothesized that these social problems are caused by the individualistic societal culture where everyone cares for themselves and does not take into consideration the fate of others.

It is important to note that the prognosis of social disorders in the society as depicted in the film is also uncertain and does not represent one portion of the society. Floyd hypothesizes that individuals tends to forget disagreeable experiences and they would always turn their back on what they regard as unpleasant. As a result the upper class in the society will always ignore the negative vices in the society such as disease, poverty and other evils. According to the theory of social revolution institutions of power in the society have become despotic while the intolerant public sentiment fosters the immobility of the social disorder. But with the change of the life conditions the powers that are against the rigid institutions overwhelm the old habits which characterizes a social revolution. This explains why the individualistic culture in the society is not a valuable concept in regard to interpersonal communication. 

The third concept is known as the self-concept or identity. This concept refers to the perceptions that an individual has about themselves. The self-concept is a subjective description of what an individual thinks they are. The personality is reflected in the attitudes, beliefs and the values that an individual holds. 

There are several factors which have an influence on the development of an individual self-concept including the parental upbringing, continuous failure, depression or even internal self-critic. A positive self-concept is very important in communication and it can be developed by knowing one’s self and always appreciating oneself by having a positive and a rational thinking mentality. With a variety of ways to think about one self, the most widely applied term is identity or self-concept which refers to an organized and complex dynamic system that has a system of learned beliefs and opinions that a person holds about their personal existence. 

The self-concept in Slumdog millionaire is depicted by both Jamal and Salim who live through a hostile environment and suffers from poor personal development. In a typical case, Salim thought Jamal would be happy to see him after a long time but instead that is not the case as Jamal attacked Salim out of spite and anger. This makes Salim to learn that Jamal has not forgiven him. He uses self-concept to interpret the reactions of Jamal and after realizing that Jamal has not forgiven him, he risks his life and helps Latika to escape reuniting her with Jamal with the hope that Jamal forgives him. 

Self-concept is a valuable aspect and it has a definite effect on the communication. Vocabulary and voice tone indicates how you feel about how one feels about themselves and the impression that a person makes on others in the daily contacts shows their self-concept. An individual with self-concept will always seek to interact with others and will always enjoy interacting with others. At the same time, getting feedback from other people is also responsible for reinforcing self-concept and influences it in a positive manner. 

The learning experience is that communication is fundamental for human relationships. It is important to note that these relationships are either formed, shaped, influenced or even terminated by the ability to properly communicate. As a result it is important that here is a proper understanding of interpersonal relationships and their importance in human communication. On a daily basis communication is an important component in all types of people ranging from colleagues to parents and even bosses. Human communication should therefore be taken with great consideration in personal and one-on-one relationships. 

In conclusion, effective interpersonal communication is applicable in all aspects of life and is dependent on various factors such as the culture in which an individual is, their self-concept, their upbringing and even their willingness to share their information with others. Interpersonal communication largely involves interactions that occur between various people who are familiar with each other and possibly interact on a daily basis. It is important that people listen carefully during communication and that interpersonal communication is well developed when interacting with others.

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